Me and Chairman Mao
  Free drinks.
Suppose you are a big American company and are looking to introduce a new type of liquor into the Chinese market--what do you do? (No, you don't "shoot the hostage," but thanks for playing. But on that note, you should be aware that the ex-presidents are surfers.) Do you make TV commercials, put ads for it in magazines and papers, pay bars to put up signs for your product all over the place, possibly even give away t-shirts or something?

You'd think the answer would be yes, but you'd be wrong. What if, instead, you set up a huge tent in the middle of a popular local mall, and start shoving free drinks into the hands of anyone who walks by? After all, who doesn't like a free drink? Sounds good to me anyway. And apparently to Bailey's too, who did just that the other day. Really, it makes sense. I mean, there's no drinking age in China, and since--a la big tobacco--you've got to get them while they're young, what better way to do that than by handing out shots of sickeningly sweet Irish Cream liqueur to anyone who walks by?

Yes here, at last, is the famous Bailey's tent, complete with tons of bottles of the eponymous drink and, naturally, the Bailey's girls:

Here we have a slightly different view, with the Bailey's girls refilling their trays. Not surprisingly, they went through the free shots pretty quickly ...

A Bailey's girl giving away a drink. Notice the "What the hell is this?" look on the guy's face. That, my friends, is exactly why they're giving it away. (The big knot of people behind him are all drinking their Bailey's samples, for the record.)

Naturally, I couldn’t resist. Nothing like a thimbleful of Bailey's to get you in the mood for lunch, is there?

Despite what you might have heard, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor I stopped by the tent on my way back from lunch. No truth at all ....
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